Gulfstream Booming, Still Looking at Supersonics
Gulfstream says it's getting ready to move on to the next phase of testing for its sonic boom-suppressing technology. As AVweb reported last year, the company successfully tested a 24-foot retractable nose boom that all but eliminates the shockwaves that create the big (and illegal over the U.S.) noise. The boom was originally tested on an F-15, but Gulfstream VP Pres Henne told the Savannah Morning News the next step is to test the boom on something more business jet-like but no timeline was suggested.
As the company experiments with the sonic boomless technology, it's also coping with a massive growth in business in its most expensive line of subsonic aircraft. Sales for the G550 have far outstripped manufacturing capacity and there's a four-year backlog. A new 300,000 sq. ft. plant will open next April to tackle the backlog. Gulfstream has also opened a new sales center and a service center capable of handling 18 large-cabin aircraft at a time in the past year.